CEOs Had a Pretty Good 2017

CEO pay is up!

The chief executives of America’s biggest companies are on track for another banner year of compensation, fueled by a soaring stock market and an improving economy….Total pay—including salary, cash incentives, equity, perquisites and more—rose at least 9.9% for half the executives, the fastest annual growth since 2014, while about a quarter of the executives received raises of 25% or more. Most of the gains came from stock awards, as firms largely held the line on cash compensation and stock options.

So the top half of CEOs saw their pay go up more than 10 percent. I don’t know exactly how the rest of us did on that scale, but people with bachelors degrees are a rough proxy for the top half of the general population. According to the BLS, their pay went up 1.6 percent last year. So I guess the CEOs did pretty well. It’s no wonder they were rewarded with a nice tax cut from the Republican Party.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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